October 5, 2015. Life / The IUCN Red List
The African elephant the largest living terrestrial animal and inhabits much of Sub-Saharan Africa; however its populations have become increasingly fragmented.
Jane Smart, Craig Hilton-Taylor, Russel A. Mittermeier.
African Elephant: Vulnerable (The IUCN Red List)
Historically, poaching for ivory and meat has been the main cause of the species’ decline. While illegal hunting remains a significant threat in some areas, human population expansion over much of the range contributes to ongoing land conversion and habitat loss which leads to increasing human-elephant conflict.
The African elephant receives various degrees of legal protection throughout its range and international trade in elephant ivory is controlled under CITES. A number of range sates permit sport hunting and some countries have CITES export quotas for elephant trophies for non-commercial purposes.
Effective management and conservation initiatives have increased elephant numbers in southern and eastern Africa, but various targeted approaches are still urgently needed for the escalating problems that continue to face this intelligent and iconic species in the countries where it ranges.
This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Nature Series Book The IUCN Red List (2014).